When we read on the history of ergonomics, it has been in existence since the time of the so-called primitive man when he began creating tools to make tasks easier. Back then until the Industrial Revolution, ergonomic principles revolved more on design considerations for speed and efficiency of production rather than the comfort and safety of the workers involved.
The most significant development, perhaps in modern ergonomics was in the field of human-computer interaction brought by the upsurge of computer usage in the workplace.
Since we would like to focus more on the worker and his working environment, these series of blogs will be of ergonomics in the workplace.
For the first part, we’ll start off with the basics of ergonomics specifically for workstation:
- The eye should be levelled to the top of the monitor or below. A viewing angle of 0-20 degrees below horizontal line of sight is accepted. This can decrease the chance of having strained neck. The viewing distance of the monitor to the eye should be ample enough to see the display, not too close and not too far. A rule of thumb is, from where you are seating you should see the monitor display comfortably. You may adjust the monitors setting like screen resolution or adjusting the angle of the monitor.
- The body should be relaxed sitting straight in your chair. Back is supported by the chair’s back, chair can be adjusted to the height needed, the shoulder should be relaxed and arms can be extended to reach the input devices with the forearm parallel to the floor and elbow at 90 to 100 degrees angle. By sitting up straight with proper back support one can avoid back injuries. Some chairs offer adjustable arm rest that can be helpful to support your arms in this position.
- The hands should be comfortably placed at the front reaching the input devices. Keyboard and mouse should be close together for easy reach with almost the same height so the wrist will have a minimal bend reducing strain to the arms.
- The feet should be flat to the floor while sitting fully in the chair distributing weight pressure from thighs up to almost behind the area of the knee. The area behind the knee shouldn’t be touching the seat pan. Both knees should at least be at a 90 degrees angle and should support the whole body’s weight across the floor. If the feet can’t touch the floor, a foot rest can be used.
’til next time. We hope to have you on the part 2 of our series.